Bearded Vulture heads to the UK to feast on the carcass of the British Empire

News from the Natural World: A Bearded Vulture has been spotted in the UK for the first time in years.

News from the Natural World: A Bearded Vulture has been spotted in the UK for the first time in years.

An enormous bone-eating vulture, rarely seen in the UK, has been spotted in the skies over Lincolnshire. The Bearded Vulture, or Lammergeier, is normally found in Alpine regions and has a wingspan of 2.5m (8.2ft). But one was recently spotted in Norfolk. The Bearded Vulture was called Vigo. He was about two years old. Vigo is not dangerous to people or farm animals and feeds on scavenged bones. But what was Vigo doing in the UK?

Bearded Vulture
Vigo the Bearded Vulture spotted in the UK

Vigo said that he’d been flying around the Alps looking for some carrion to scavenge. The more rotten, decaying and shredded the better. Vigo caught a whiff of a carcass that smelt more powerful than everything else. He followed his beak and it brought him all the way to the UK. But why did the UK smell so much of rotten carrion? Vigo said that he thinks he actually smelt the last dying fart of the British Empire and that the subsequent stench was the horrific rotting remains. But what was this moment that signalled the end of the British Empire? We did some digging and managed to uncover the truth. The exact final death spasm of the British Empire was the moment that Boris Johnson had argued about singing Rule Britannia. It had been this speech that drew Vigo to the rotting carcass of the British Empire.

Bearded Vulture feasts on the carcass of the British Empire

So we decided to smuggle ourselves into the Houses of Parliament via some old contacts in the Pigeon department. We tracked down Boris Johnson and asked him about Vigo the Vulture. Did he think it was offensive that this Beared Vulture had come to feast on the remnants of the British Empire? Boris said – “As long as I can sing ‘Rule Britannia’ I bally well don’t care about some Vulture. That song is our history, a celebration of our dominance and success of our great empire.” Boris Johnson puffed out his chest and started singing;

“Baby, don’t you wanna, dance up on me
To another time and place
Oh, baby, don’t you wanna, dance up on me

I’m a slave for you (take that) I cannot hold it, I cannot control it
I’m a slave (it just feels right) for you (it just feels good)
I won’t deny it, I’m not trying to hide it (baby)”

Bearded Vulture
Boris getting the words wrong

We were extremely confused. Boris Johnson wasn’t singing the lyrics to ‘Rule Britannia‘. He was singing a completely different song, he was singing Britney Spears ‘Slave 4 You’. So we questioned him immediately. We told him that didn’t he know he was singing the wrong song and it was all about being a slave? Boris turned to us and said “Oh Collywobs, what’s the problem, they’re pretty much the same. I’m a slave, they’re a slave, we’ll never be slaves. It’s all fun and games.” Boris was never one with a keen eye on details. He has been known to muddle his songs before but this time it was truly preposterous.

Boris sings Britney Spears

With that Boris Johnson sauntered off down the corridor muttering the song under his breath. He made some excuse about forgetting a few of his old chums and needing to increase the grouse shooting restrictions from 30 to 35. We stood and watched him go, an ancient relic of a forgotten empire. This was truly its last moments and its carcass had been picked dry by Vigo the Bearded Vulture. So Vigo decided that it was time to head back the Alps where the rest of his endangered species was being reintroduced. Vigo had much more important things to worry about than songs and empires. His species was on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List – meaning they are a “near threatened” species.


Bearded Vulture
Bearded Vultures love the remains of empires

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